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Wishek Hospital

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Tuesday
Nov112014

Pediatric Health

Are my child's symptoms serious enough to see a medical provider? Does he really need to get vaccinated? What can I do to beef up her immune system? These are all questions you may have as parents. Here are some tips to help you navigate the health care system based on information derived from kidshealth.org and Wishek Hospital and Clinic's PA-C/FNP Polly Benson.

1. Make a medical home.  Establishing a long-term relationship with a pediatrician or primary care provider is to your advantage. “Building rapport with a provider ensures someone who, when your child becomes sick, already knows your family history,” says Polly. While many people travel to see pediatricians, a local clinic like ours is a great place to begin establishing pediatric and family care.

2. Don't skip checkups.  It's important to keep regular checkups even when your child isn't sick. This way, doctors can make sure they are developing as expected and can catch any health concerns early. The WHC encourages regular well-child exams to evaluate their physical and mental health including growth and development, nutrition, behavior, sensory screenings, up-to-date immunizations, and parent education.

3. Keep vaccines up to date.  To immunize or not to immunize is a question commonly asked by parents. One thing is certain: diseases like polio and diphtheria have become rare in the U.S. due to the continuity of vaccinations.

“There is certainly controversy about immunizations,” says Polly. “I do think children need to be immunized, but there are people not immunizing their children because they have heard negative things about them.”

That's why Polly is an advocate for self-education, researching the facts before making up one's mind about medical advice. Immunizations for children range from birth to college-age children and are distributed by the County Health Nurse.

4. Don't delay care. When kids are sick, it can be difficult to determine if they need to see a medical provider. Ultimately, if you're unsure, “common sense is the biggest thing. Trust your gut and what you see. But if your child looks more sick than usual, it's best to come in,” says Polly who referred to “5 Serious Symptoms in Children Never to Ignore” found on webmd.com for parents to use as a sounding board:

1. High Fever (child older than 1). “Don't look at the thermometer so much as their other symptoms,” says Polly. If your child is eating and drinking, skip the trip to the hospital. If the fever lasts four or more days and is accompanied by a sore throat or earache, bring them to the clinic.

A fever for children is defined as 100.4°F rectally or 99.5°F orally.

2. Bad Headache. Call your provider if your child's headache is so intense that they can't play, eat or enjoy a favorite TV show. If your child gets headaches often, this should be looked at by a provider.

3. Widespread Rash. To be safe, anytime your child has small red or purple non-blanching dots on a widespread area, lip/facial swelling or difficulty breathing, seek emergency care.

4. Stomach Bug. Monitor how often they are vomiting or having diarrhea. Vomiting three times a day simply calls for administering electrolytes at home, whereas eight bouts of diarrhea in eight hours needs medical attention for dehydration.

5. Stiff Neck. A stiff neck in combination with a fever, light sensitivity and headaches can indicate meningitis, a true medical emergency.

5. Check it out before you act on it. Health information is available now more than ever before thanks to the internet. “There is reputable and reliable support out there,” says Polly, “but there are also people with agendas.” Polly recommends parents frequent sites she trusts for guidance, like webmd.com, mayoclinic.org, aap.org, healthychildren.org, cdc.gov, and the “Healthy Children” app from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Tuesday
Nov112014

A tribute to Jeannette Wald

Jeannette “Jean” Wald, former LPN at the WHC, passed away at age 63 on August 8th of this year. She worked at the WHC for 40 years.

She made a difference in many people's lives.  She received letters from patients and family members expressing their gratitude for the wonderful care she gave them. During her stay at the Wishek Hospital, the nurses, doctors and aides were all wonderful. They were always putting Jean’s care first, but they went above and beyond, making sure her family was okay and checking to see if we needed anything. They were all very compassionate. The WHC needs to be proud of its staff.”

-Mary Wald, Jeannette’s niece

Tuesday
Nov112014

Welcome Aubrey Atkins, Nurse Practitioner

"We all think very highly of Aubrey and agree that she will be a great fit for our Napoleon and Wishek locations,” says Mark Rinehardt, CEO.

Mark, along with the WHC staff, welcomes Aubrey Atkins to our community as our newest Nurse Practitioner. Aubrey started on October 27th as Napoleon Clinic's midlevel with a few days a month at the Wishek Clinic. She is from Salt Lake City, Utah and holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Utah and a Masters of Science in Nursing from George Washington University in D.C. Aubrey shared with us about her medical and personal background and why she is looking forward to practicing medicine in South Central North Dakota.

Why did you decide to pursue medicine?

From the time I was young, I knew I wanted a career in healthcare. After a somewhat negative experience with my own health, and the healthcare system while I was living in Spain, I decided I wanted to do something that would help alleviate the medical stresses and suffering of others. When I returned to the U.S., I began my nursing education.

What brought you to this position with the WHC?

A good friend of mine is actually from Ashley. She told me how great the people of North Dakota are and encouraged me to apply for this Nurse Practitioner position.

How has your team leadership experience helped prepare you for this job?

To me, leadership isn’t about giving orders or managing people. It’s about finding ways to better serve our patients and then working as a team to implement those ideas for the benefit of both the patient and the healthcare providers. My various roles as a staff nurse, charge nurse, nutrition support nurse, and outpatient coordinator gave me a wide variety of opportunities to see patients and the healthcare team operate in different capacities.

What is the most rewarding part about working in healthcare?

Making a positive connection with someone and seeing the influence I can have in their life, and they in mine, whether it be helping someone progress and recover, or providing support as they or a loved one finishes their mortal journey.

What is your personal philosophy of practicing medicine and how do you see it benefiting Wishek and surrounding areas?

My philosophy includes four basic tenets: 1) Clinical Excellence: I strive to provide the best care at all times and stay current on evidence-based practice for my patients. I look for ways to improve my practice and better myself as a clinician. 2) Mutual Respect: I treat my patients the way I would like to be treated. 3) Responsibility: I accept responsibility for my attitude, actions, knowledge and mistakes, and 4) Trust: I act with integrity. Healthcare is a partnership between the provider and the patient. I believe these four ideals can help create a positive, successful partnership. I look forward to starting that process with the people of Napoleon and surrounding area.

What are your impressions of the WHC so far?

I have only visited the clinics once, but everyone was very friendly and welcoming. They also seemed very supportive of one another. Everyone I met seemed to really enjoy his or her job, which says to me that this is a good place to work.

Coming from a city, what are you looking forward to about practicing medicine in our rural communities?

Salt Lake is a large city, and that affords opportunities and access to many specialists and therapies. While this may help the patient get better care, it can make the provision of healthcare feel somewhat disjointed at times. In a rural area, the access to some of those aspects is more limited, but providers get the opportunity and responsibility of caring for the whole patient, instead of just bits and pieces.

Talk a little bit about yourself, your family, what you like to do in your free time, hobbies, etc.

I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah and all of my family members currently live in Utah. I am the second of four children. My father is a physical therapist and runs a wound care clinic, and my mother is retired. Two of my brothers also work in healthcare. In my spare time, I like to read, play the piano, sew, bake, and spend time with my nieces and nephews. I also enjoy going to University of Utah football games and Real Salt Lake soccer games.

Tuesday
Nov112014

The Very Beginning

This year, both the Wishek Hospital and Ambulance Service are celebrating significant milestones

1941: Wm E Huber shares the idea of a hospital for Wishek

1949: An organizational membership meeting is held in City Hall

1949: The Wishek Hospital and Clinic Association forms

1954: The Wishek Community Hospital opens its doors to patients on April 1st

1964: A new hospital wing is built

1977: A clinic is added, adjacent to the hospital

In 1954, the Wishek Community Hospital accommodated eight double rooms to handle 16 patients at a time with a staff of 13. In 2014, the Wishek Hospital and Clinics is licensed for 24 beds, a staff of 95, and operates four Rural Health Clinic locations.


Tuesday
Nov112014

The 1st Birth

At the opening of the Wishek Community Hospital, there was already anticipation for the hospital's first baby delivery. On April 24, 1954, Tom Regner was celebrated as the first boy born in the hospital. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Regner of Burnstad, Tom was the youngest of seven siblings, but privileged enough to be the only one born at the Wishek Hospital.

“Back in those days, having the hospital as a birth place was considered quite a luxury. Up until that point, many rural mothers were giving birth in their homes,” said Tom.

His wife Linda carried on the tradition and had their two sons in the Wishek Hospital in the 1970’s. “This hospital is a handy thing for the community. What would we do without one? We need it. Sometimes, you only have a few minutes before you have to get to the hospital.” Tom speaks from experience as he hasn't lived far from his birth place and makes his home two miles outside of Wishek.

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